Mumbai, Feb 13 (PTI) Bhubaneswar-based Air Odisha has received regulatory approvals to begin scheduled passenger commuter services under the regional connectivity scheme.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation today issued Air Odisha the scheduled commuter operator permit, which allows the airline to launch its services on regional routes, an Air Odisha official said, adding till now it had only a non-scheduled operator permit.

“We got flying permit today. We will launch operations as a scheduled commuter airline from the 17th of this month with a flights service to Mundra from Ahmedabad,” Air Odisha operations head Satish Pani told PTI over phone today.

The maiden flight will be inaugurated by Gujarat chief miniser Vijay Rupani, he said, adding flights to Jamnagar from Ahmedabad will also begin on the same day.

“The Ahmedabad-Diu service is scheduled for February 25 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to flag off the flight,” an official said.

Air Odisha had bagged 50 routes under the subsidised regional connectivity scheme last March. Pani said the airline has acquired a 19-seater Beechcraft B-1900D plane and two more will join the fleet by the month-end.

As per the schedule, it will begin services from New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar and Chennai to various underserved and unserved airports in Odisha, Gujarat, UP, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Andhra and Puducherry.

Air Odisha has already forged a strategic partnership with Air Deccan, which bagged 34 routes, under which the two will share each other’s network and resources to cut cost.

Collectively, the two airlines plan to operate 108 flights daily connecting 67 airports over the next few months, with a combined fleet of 12 Beechcraft B-1900Ds.PTI IAS SS BEN BEN

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.